When it comes to ugly college uniforms Oregon is your poster child, but it's clear why Phil Knight has made his alma mater his LSD fueled design board: Oregon consistently pulls top recruiting classes and has become the benchmark program of the Pac 12 and one of the top in all of college football. Of course, a lot of it has to do with their top tier facilities, but you're kidding yourself if you don't think the idea of never wearing the same uniform twice, a situation that keeps the team in the headlines all year, doesn't play a role as well. This is why schools, including TCU, subject themselves to Nike's Pro Combat anal probe year after year. Even a school like Alabama that features some of the college football's most classic uniforms lets Nike get their grubby paws into them, although they admittedly kept the design integrity of the uniform mostly intact. Even Nike knows not to mess with a good thing.
So when word trickled out that Nike was planning a redesign of UT's uniforms, I kind of expected more of the same. After all, the Horns were part of one of the recent rounds of Pro Combat upgrades that basically mirrored those of Alabama, in that they were not changed at all. But it appears that even UT isn't immune to saying, "how high" when Nike says, "jump." BEHOLD! UT's proposed new uniforms:
These are supposed to be real. Seriously. I'm not really sure what to make of them. Were they designed by an ADD addled 8 year old? "Let's make them black... no, let's make them white... no, let's make them orange... wait, ALL THREE!!!! WHEEEEEE!!!" I honestly can't figure out the inspiration here. They're like the Jackson Pollock of college uniform redesigns. Admittedly, they aren't as bad as Maryland's uniforms from opening week last year, but they're at least in line for tickets at the same ballpark. I mean... I GUESS the pants are ok? But seriously, all they did was cut up uniforms and sew them back together in a weird hodge podge. It's like a middle school art project gone completely wrong. Whoever had this idea needs to be fired and fed to DeLoss Dodd's dogs.
Now, before you guys start running with this, apparently these are going to be used for UT's spring game to get some feedback and then reevaluated, so the odds of them seeing the field in a regular season game are slim to none. But, there's hope, because UT is showing their spring game on the LHN, a Network that no one in America receives, so perhaps they could slip under the radar? A boy can dream. Some UT fans have also started to do damage control by suggesting this is a leaked April Fools prank, but that just sounds silly.
If these are, in fact, real, then I guess Nike really does control the sports universe. Bama, UT, Penn State, Michigan, Nebraska, etc may all be corrupt in their own ways, but if they do anything right it's the simplicity of their uniforms. Why on earth Nike would want to mess with that and why UT, the most successful athletic program in the country would allow Nike to mess with that, is beyond me. Perhaps things really are as bad as they seem in Austin and they're having to resort to least common denominator tactics such as this to stay relevant? Who knows. But if you see these disasters in Austin come opening weekend we'll know the sky is definitely in danger of falling in Austin.